And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.2 Timothy 2:2 NIV
When Paul wrote this, he was likely in prison and awaiting execution. So this letter to Timothy, his protégé, is very personal, preparing Timothy to carry on the ministry after Paul was gone. His encouragement to Timothy was to be faithful in passing on the spiritual truths that he had heard Paul proclaim during their years together. Especially that he would pass them on to those who would, in turn, serve as teachers.
It is hard to discount the importance of this instruction. In Paul’s day, there was no New Testament. The writings that today make up our New Testament were still being composed. And there was no canonized collection of writings like we have today. There were no commentaries, no seminaries, no internet. The contents of our faith were mostly passed down by word of mouth from teacher to student. With the students becoming teachers to the next generation.
Teaching the Next Generation
Today nearly everyone has at least one Bible in their home, and some of us have an abundance of them. We have commentaries, study guides, Bible study classes, YouTube videos, and on and on. We have an amazing array of resources to learn from.
But that does not invalidate Paul’s instruction to Timothy. Those who are well-grounded in the faith need to be actively involved in passing on to the next generation the truths we hold dear. All too many of the resources available today do not lead toward a more personal and committed walk with God. And there is much falsehood proclaimed as truth today. Help the next generation of believers to know the truth and to grow in it. Pass on your faith.